Nationals send letter to fans

TO:  Fans of the Washington Nationals

No one is more dissatisfied in the first half of the 2009 Washington Nationals season than we are.  Like you, we had hoped that some of our younger players would have matured faster and that the addition of some of our new veterans would have significantly improved our record from a season ago.  Our hope was that a solid club leadership would emerge on and off the field and that some intangible combinations would begin to click resulting in many winning streaks.

We definitely do see significant pieces materializing for the future, and there have been many close, exciting games and optimistic bright spots: Strong outings by John Lannan, the home run and RBI production of Adam Dunn, the All-Star selection and 30 game hitting streak of Ryan Zimmerman, and the recent addition of speedster Nyjer Morgan.  Much of the season, however, has been defined by weak relief pitching, poor defense, and youthful inconsistency.  We have tried to work through this period with patience and focus but now we are faced with mounting losses which are beginning to take a toll on our entire roster.  Clearly, some changes are required as we prepare for the second half of the 2009 season and, more importantly, build for a competitive future.

Today, we announced that manager Manny Acta is being replaced on an interim basis by Jim Riggleman, veteran manager, and currently the Nats bench coach.  Both the Ownership and the entire Washington Nationals organization have the highest respect for Manny Acta and the role he has played in the short history of the Nationals.  However, it is our belief that a fresh attitude and approach is necessary as we set out to improve our performance for the remainder of the year.  We want to send a strong message to our clubhouse and our fans that the status quo is unacceptable.  We believe that more is expected of everyone in the organization.

Baseball operations will be reevaluating all our players and our options for improvement over the next several months. We hope to sign our 2009 draft choices by the August deadline.  We hope these new additions will join an already exciting Nationals youth movement headed by the likes of Lannan, Jesus Flores, Alberto Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Craig Stammen on our current roster, and the likes of promising minor league stars like Chris Marrero, Michael Burgess, Danny Espinosa, Derek Norris and Drew Storen, among many others. But, we also will be determining the viability of trades or roster upgrades that can be made without doing damage to the farm system or the developing talent we expect to blossom within the next two years.

When we bought the Washington Nationals in the middle of the 2006 season – just under three years ago – we committed to a patient, long term approach, building a strong farm system and core foundation that would deliver a perennial and consistent contender; to provide a second-to-none family entertainment value at Nationals Park; and to investment and involvement in the metropolitan Washington DC community.  Today we remain steadfastly committed to each component of that mission. We are proud to represent the National Pastime in the Nation’s Capital, and we are proud to call the Capital area home.

We know we have a way to go, but the end result will be all the richer for the early days we’ve spent together at Nationals Park.  We are getting better.  We want you to be with us as the pieces of the puzzle come together. Your support is powerful to the Nationals and baseball in Washington.  Thank you for your continuing patience and your commitment to a shared dream. 

Sincerely,

Washington Nationals Baseball Club

3 Comments

Wow, I can sort of relate. I mean, it sucks when you spend all your time rooting for a team, and not giving up on them, but they still let you down sometimes. I know how you feel to a degree, and I know your dream will come true someday! Good Luck. http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/

And this is supposed to…what?? Placate us fans??
Here’s a suggestion, Bill: how about giving us Nats fans YOUR take on this?? Why reprint the “party line” and pass it off as a MLBlog from you?? I’m just saying…
Here’s another one: how about helping ME sell the fans on Don Mattingly as the Nats’ new manager for next year?? How’s THAT sound, Bill??
Gary
Nasty Nats Live Here (and Everywhere)
http://go-nasty-nats.mlblogs.com
http://twitter.com/gonastynats
http://www.youtube.com/DCSportsNut

This problem started when mlb decided to gut the team by distributing the stars elsewhere and hired the GM to oversee the purported death of the Expos. They had 2nd thoughts and decided instead to milk some poor sucker of $$$ by selling the team (without a farm system and without major league talent young enough to stick around for more than a couple of years). And, oh yes, I forgot about the TV deal mlb made with Baltimore to raid the Nats’ pocketbook. JB did a pretty good job of getting some talent without any $$ from mlb or the Lerners, but he also made mistakes. mlb made a big mistake when they sold to the Lerners – rich but baseball ignorant. They got rich by not taking chances as good baseball owners sometimes need to do. I used to be a season ticket holder in St. Louis when I lived there, and that was great baseball with great ownership. I was a Nats season ticket holder (4 seats) for 2 years, and attended several spring training games. I loved them! I now decline to go to their games because they are too greedy: withhold rent; don’t acquire good players; get rid of good players; and sell good seats for higher prices. I don’t go to the nose-bleed sections. I can watch good A and AA baseball players in the minors at minor league prices, not Nationals’ “gold standard” prices. I still get to attend baseball, but in other cities. I watched the Mets in 1962, and loved them because ownership tried to satisfy the fans. The Nats seem only interested in corporate fans. The Nats wrongfully, and without class, fired Robby and now Manny, but they were merely the victims – good managers with no real ownership support . Ownership here needs to display some “class,” not “crass.”

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